After two writing teachers and a dear friend recommended that I start reading The Sun Magazine on a regular basis, I eventually checked the box that says “bill me later” and dropped the subscription card into the mail. The magazine started showing up and I delighted in its fulfilled promise: Personal. Political. Provacative. Ad-free. Page after page of great writing.
Then the bill arrived and was put to the bottom of the stack. It was just such a busy time that I neglected to pay immediately. Reminder bills came and I considered letting the subscription lapse all together. Not because it’s not, honestly, my ideal magazine. But because our apartment is packed — we don’t have room for new things that take up space, and I’m working on quieting down my brain, simplifying, right?
One night on the way home from work, I heard The Sun’s founding editor, Sy Safransky give a radio interview. He told this story*. Go read it now. Do it. I can tell if my links aren’t clicked. Sure, I could recapitulate it here, but why, when a much better version of the tale as Sy tells it is available on line?
So I heard that amazing story, and I mailed my check the next day.
I carry an issue of The Sun in my courier bag nearly every day. As often as I read it, I feel good about the world. There is a magazine we can read without having to look at 98 pound women trying to sell us shit we don’t need. There is a magazine we can read that is written for the people, by the people, about the people without corporate intervention.
Sy’s on my list of inspiring people not only because he had the courage to leave his day-job so many years ago and follow his passion. Not only because he had the courage in 1990 to stop selling ads. He’s on my list because of the large compassion he showed on that day last summer – you know what I’m talking about because you read about it here*.
I’d like to leave you with an uplifting sentiment Sy wrote for the current issue of The Sun, but I don’t want to break any copyright rules. So I’m going to ask you to click again . . . when you go to this page, please look halfway down to the paragraph that starts, “NO MATTER WHO’S ELECTED president . . . ” read until you get to the word needle.
Yes, a poet made my list.
* (June 2011) It’s just come to my attention that the links lead to a story that has since moved. I’m attempting to find new links; however, 10 minutes at google have proven futile and the morning’s agenda is calling. Will readdress this soon.